Composer Lisa Bielawa Launches BFH Radio – Broadcast from Here
24/7 crowdsourced soundscape incorporating words, voices, and found audio from all over the world
Tune in & participate: www.bfhradio.com
Composer and producer Lisa Bielawa has launched BFH Radio – Broadcast from Here, a continuous and evolving soundscape incorporating words, voices, and found audio from participants all over the world, one year after many communities went into pandemic lockdown. BFH Radio is streaming online and open for public participation – anyone may call the BFH Radio Hotline at 1-707-722-BFHR (2347) or visit the online portal at www.bfhradio.com to contribute found audio, spoken messages, or musical phrases.
BFH Radio asks, “What are the sounds of our world today? What thoughts preoccupy and guide us through this time of transition, uncertainty, and new hope?”
Now that the vaccine is being rolled out, and with the promise of our re-entry into the world, there still loom uncertainties regarding how our lives will be reconstituted in the various phases of that re-entry. BFH Radio will morph as contributions are made by the public, integrated and combined – spoken voices, sung phrases composed from testimonies, instrumental phrases, and field recordings. BFH Radio gathers the sounds of people’s first experiments with narrowing social distance or re-engaging with formerly familiar activities, as well as their encounters with new lockdowns or new challenges, and weaves these together with musical materials.
This new Broadcast is in many ways a sequel to Bielawa’s 2020 work Broadcast from Home. Described by the Washington Post as “spellbinding,” Broadcast from Home was realized online throughout the period of the pandemic lockdown, featuring submitted written and recorded vocal testimonies from over 300 participants from six continents. BFH Radio also takes its process from the exigencies of our time.
From the sounds of people in their own homes navigating their peculiar reality to the comfortingly timeless sounds of the natural world around us, people are sharing where they are at, and where they are going from here.
Featured guests from far and wide will connect us across vast distances, starting in week one with poet Edith Knight Magak in Nairobi, Kenya, who shares her voice and news from Nairobi, along with the sounds of the Gikomba Market, the largest flea market in east Africa. The featured musicians for week one are baritone Gregory Purnhagen, flutist and vocalist Alex Sopp, and hornist Mike Atkinson, with submissions from the public coming from twelve U.S. states and four countries.
Lisa Bielawa’s Broadcast Projects: BFH Radio follows Bielawa’s other large-scale participatory works. In addition to Broadcast from Home, these include Broadcast at the Crossroads, Brickyard Broadcast, and Voters’ Broadcast. Broadcast at the Crossroads is a participatory work created by Bielawa during the pandemic with students at the crossroads of their lives, at DePauw University. Brickyard Broadcast represents an energizing and participatory artistic process designed to help address the challenges faced by orchestras and choirs during this prolonged period of social distancing. Rather than staging a synchronous performance via remote platforms, Brickyard Broadcast allows musicians to create sonic-visual avatars of themselves that can come together virtually in a playful, interactive common space which mirrors their own campus common space, opening up the gathering to anyone in the world who wishes to join them there. Voters’ Broadcast’s mission is to stimulate voter engagement, political awareness, and community participation in challenging lockdown conditions, through the act of giving voice to the concerns of fellow citizens, during the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential election. Lisa Bielawa’s earlier works for performance in public spaces include Airfield Broadcasts (spatialized works for hundreds of musicians on the field of former airfields), and Mauer Broadcast (a participatory work for public performance, for the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 2019).
More about Lisa Bielawa: www.lisabielawa.net